Baby Got Back (In the Style of Glee)

January 26th, 2013

This went up in the iTunes store a lot faster than I expected (nice work there Tunecore), and some of you have already found it:

iTunes: Baby Got Back (In the Style of Glee)
GooglePlay: Baby Got Back (In the Style of Glee)
AmazonMP3: Baby Got Back (In the Style of Glee)

I’ve released this track as a single – it should be on iTunes, Amazon, and Google Play eventually if it’s not already. It’s a cover of Glee’s cover of my cover of Sir Mix-a-Lot’s song, which is to say it’s EXACTLY THE SAME as my original version. I’m releasing this under the same Harry Fox license I used for the 2005 release, so Mix will get all the royalties due to him. I’ll donate the proceeds from all sales that happen between now and the end of February to two charities: The VH1 Save the Music Foundation, and The It Gets Better Project. (fine print: iTunes will get their cut first of course, then I’ll deduct enough to cover my licensing fees, and split the rest between the two. iTunes sometimes takes a long time to report sales, sometimes even a couple of months, so I won’t be able to do the math and make the donation until I have the numbers. But I’ll let you know when I’ve gotten the amount and made the donation.)

I’ve been reading your tweets and posts and I’m truly grateful for your support – honestly, this has been a very stressful time, and it means so much to see how many of you are behind me. I’ve been trying to figure out a positive way to channel all this energy. I haven’t asked you guys to take any specific action throughout this thing, but now I am asking: buy the track, give it some stars, leave a comment (please be civil), and tell everyone you can. Call it a form of protest, awareness raising, viral PR hackitude, whatever you like. I don’t know how big this will get, but there’s a potential to make a lot of noise this way – imagine if this thing charts! And failing that, we will create some real world impact by raising a lot of money for two great causes that are directly related to the Glee brand. There’s your win-win.

Maybe this is something that the Glee people would like to give some EXPOSURE. Though, in order to do that they’d have to make some kind of public acknowledgement that I exist. We’ll see! Maybe they’ll even want to match the gesture, and donate all their February proceeds for their version too!

I will have a lot more to say about this situation soon, most likely Monday. Stay tuned…

462 responses to “Baby Got Back (In the Style of Glee)”

  1. Gina Mai Denn says:

    Boughted. Go get ’em, Jonathan!

  2. sarah says:

    Awesome. Very cool way of handling things.

  3. i hate jonathan coulton says:

    nobody know your name before glee , congrats you are recognized and i hate you

  4. Sam says:

    Bought it (once again) and rated. It’s been so frustrating watching this develop, thanks for providing us with an opportunity to do something.

  5. hahaha... says:

    If I were you… I would be happy Glee stole your track, it sounded horrific

  6. catherine says:

    man who’s the turd in the comments who hates you
    you’re great, good way of dealing with this

  7. Brie in Portland says:

    Awesome comeback. Don’t let the bastards get you down, JoCo! <3

  8. wolfkin says:

    I know Coulton from Portal. Sorry to see this is how it’s going to shake out but hope Fox/Glee changes their mind somewhere.

  9. pluto says:

    I really would not recommend donating to the It Gets Better project as Dan Savage, it’s founder, is notoriously prejudiced against other members of the LGBT+ community, and spreads his message of hate throughout several mediums.

    Seriously, he has dehumanised transgender people, asexual people, overweight people, etc. He is not a good person.

  10. SimplyDan says:

    Classy. Bought it. You rock.

  11. By_Tor says:

    It’s not available in the UK Google Play store (yet) but I will buy as soon as it is. Stick it to the man!

  12. Dan Russell says:

    Just out of curiosity, which service takes the biggest cut (pays you less), iTunes, Amazon, or Google? I’d just as easily buy from any of these, so I’d like to help you out (even a little) by picking the best one for you.

  13. Jacko says:

    Awesome you’re doing this Jonathan. Little confused though. Is this just a rerelease of the song with profit going to charity or is this a new rendition you just recorded?

    Either way, gonna buy it when I get home from work!

  14. Angelastic says:

    You might want to link to your original post from this one, so that people who come across this page first will know what’s been going on. There’s no obvious ‘previous post’ button and people might have trouble finding it in the future (especially when these are no longer on the front page.)

  15. Steve the Meatbag says:

    Never having watched glee (because really, screw fox), i’m not sure if it’s syndicated internationally or not.

    If it is, you may want to look into bringing it to case in Europe (specifically france), under a “Moral Rights” claim.

  16. Grace says:

    there’s some asshole in the comments who is saying that “no one knew you” before glee stole your work. ??? is this the same JoCo that sells out an entire cruise of adoring fans every year, the one who got asked to be on an album with such famous artists as They Might Be Giants, and the one who Valve, the largest digital entertainment distributor in the world, adores?

    If so, then I’m on the wrong Jonathan’s website!

    @JoCo: don’t let the haters bring you down. keep being awesome.

    much love from switzerland!

  17. Becca Glatt says:

    What you’re doing is amazing. I am a Glee fan, but I am appalled at what they did, especially with the stink they already caused last season with stealing their cover of “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.”
    There is a section of this blog post you made floating around the fandom on Tumblr, and I think you’re going to get a lot of support.
    Keep doing what you’re doing! šŸ˜€ <3

  18. TheRidGE says:

    I hope you understand that I am spoiling the perfection of my computer by installing iTunes for this, but I do intend on buying the song, and rating it highly, and shaming FOX in said review, in all three stores. In my mind, it’s a $3 donation to two great charities for JoCo in response to being robbed. Maybe I’m crazy, but I’m crazy devoted to JoCo.

  19. Ann says:

    It’s no Skullcrusher Mountain, but I’ll buy it, just to make a point, and because I loves ya. I won’t make eye contact.

  20. Phil C says:

    Go JC! Have repurchased … The only shame is I now have “Glee” showing up in my library :-) hang on in there, I hope they are shamed into doing the decent thing.

  21. Kevin F says:

    So I’ve never watched Glee before and I probably never will but as Jonathan Coulton states above “Iā€™m not angry at the actors or the Glee fans” (is that the correct way to credit someone?). I’m just angry at what the Network is doing, that they won’t offer any official acknowledgement, and at the fact that what they are doing is bad. It’s shameful and I hope the issue gets more press.

    Also, to reiterate the popularity of JoCo let’s bring up the fact that Wizards of the Coast, makers of Magic the Gathering, made a card called “Creepy Doll”. In a post by Mark Rosewater entitled “Scary Stories, Part 1” on Monday, September 19, 2011 he talks about JoCo and the fact that his song “Creepy Doll” inspired the card and that he and Tom Lapille are both fans of Jonathan Coulton. But yeah JoCo should just be glad about that “exposure” too huh?

    To show some support I’ve just gone on iTunes and bought the “new” version JoCo posted. I also grabbed the version on his Thing a Week One CD as I had already owned the entire JoCo Looks Back CD which Baby Got Back is also on. In addition I’ve also re-purchased the original from Sir Mix-A-Lot on iTunes as well. I know its not much but hopefully this is showing my support.

  22. Cappie says:

    And this sir. Is why you are Winning.

  23. Julian W says:

    I already donated a symbolic Anti-Baby-Got-Back-Glee Dollar through the site, just afterwards I realized that buying the JoCo Baby got Back cover would have been even better… But now this is even way better, as soon as the Amazon link is live, I will buy the song once more! :)

  24. Jason says:

    Are you able to do an album of covers of their covers? That would be pretty epic if there were no legal repercussions, and you know it would sell well.

  25. Jeff says:

    Already had it, of course, but I bought it again anyway.

  26. Zrelia says:

    As soon as I get some money, I will definitely be buying it. You deserve all the support you can get and I for one will be one of your supporters. Love ya Joco.

    Furthermore, to the person who said that no one ever heard of him before this happened. Yeah it’s cute how you want to speak for EVERYONE on the planet, because, you know, you and a few other people haven’t heard of him. By your logic that must mean no one ever heard of him before that. I’d say I’m astonished at how your simple mind works, but that’d be a lie.

  27. Jessica says:

    You, sir, have just moved from Awesome to LEGENDARY.

  28. Gary Hughes says:

    As already mentioned in the comments, it’s not available in the UK Google Play Store. Will be buying it as soon as I’m able.

    I really hope the sales do well and that this hits charts.

  29. Janai says:


  30. Eleanor says:

    Repurchasing in support.

    What total *wankers*.

  31. Rachael says:

    Please don’t support It Gets Better. As others have pointed out, its founder, Dan Savage, is a really disgusting and bigoted person that doesn’t actually care about LGBT youth.

    I hope your single does well, but as long as the money is going towards It Gets Better I can’t support it.

  32. Danielle says:

    Much support and love for you! I’ll be buying a new copy of the single when I get home from work this evening. :)

  33. Kieran says:

    My thought was, since the song is licensed from Sir Mix-A-Lot as a cover because of the lyrics, but the music is vastly different and original: re-release the song without the lyrics as as instrumental and no cover license, or even write new lyrics for the melody. Then maybe you’d actually have legal copyright on the music. Maybe?

  34. Wesley Johnson says:

    I think you should put a tour together with everyone that Glee ripped off. Maybe invite them on the cruise?

  35. Paul R. Potts says:

    Why not just release Glee’s version under your own name using the same terms? : O

  36. I wouldn’t watch Glee if you Clockwork Oranged my eyes open. But I do like your method of extracting revenge in the name of charity. Swell work, JoCo.

    Mike Selinker

  37. Kelsie Svihura says:

    You know what? I would never have heard this cover if it hadn’t been for Glee, and the same can be said for a lot of people. You should fucking be GLAD Glee exposed your cover instead of complaining about it. It’s a shitty cover of a shitty song anyway! I’m not buying this, the original cover, or Glee’s version because it fucking sucks!! Nothing illegal was done, sure it was immoral of Glee to not ask your permission first, but you shouldn’t be such a fucking whiner. Get over it.

  38. Karl Brown says:

    Bought the karaoke years ago (and performed it many time)and downloaded the free version from your website. There are already 3 versions on emusic but I will wait for this new single version to hit before buying it again.

  39. Kayla says:

    I think what you’re doing is great, but there are better, more inclusive LGBT organizations than the “It Gets Better Project” to donate to. May I suggest the HRC or something similar?

  40. alanj says:

    Please, please don’t let this drop. Financial compensation might not matter to YOU, but getting sued is the only thing that FOX will pay attention to and that might change their behavior. Your charity response is great – opening a dialogue is great – but that’s not what will get them, and other similarly-situated bigwigs, to sit up and pay attention.

    I find it difficult to believe that you don’t have copyright in your original melody, just because you set Mix-A-Lot’s lyrics to it. (Not that it matters if they also stole your actual recording, which it sure sounds like they did.) I hope you’re getting advice from multiple sources here.

  41. JacobBe5 says:

    Dude, seriously uncool of Glee.

    Sure, within their rights (not talking about any possible ripping off of audio). The defense of a moral act is never ‘Well technically it wasn’t illegal.’

    Not even so much as a tip of the hat, a head nod to the creative mind that made what they only copied.

    Wishing they would die in a fire might be a bit much for this. So I hope they get seriously sunburned and have to walk around with a raccoon face for a couple weeks that is that painful kind of itchy, before it converts over to a peeling mask of shame.

    They can die in a fire later.

  42. Blackwell Junior says:

    I hope Glee won’t sue him, cause he is using the same instrumental like in the Glee cover! He even used the same quack as in the Glee version, just increased its volume! And don’t get me started on the “Johnny C’s in trouble” line, copied straight from the Glee version!

  43. Stephanie says:

    I’m sorry they did this…when I heard I vowed to boycott Glee. That shit don’t fly…and it’s becoming a shit show anyway.

  44. Lesley says:

    I’m a Glee fan AND a Jonathan Coulton fan, so when I read about this I was so disappointed with the people behind Glee. The least they could’ve done was give him credit and they didn’t even do that. But now that all this is happening, he’s making something positive come out of it. This shows who the better man is, and that’s JoCo. It’s hard to choose a favorite, but I’ll have to say “Creepy Doll” is my favorite, with “Still Alive” and “You Ruined Everything” tied for 2nd. Love to you and your dedicated fans, Jonathan. You are extremely talented, and an all-around great guy. Good luck with all this. I hope you raise a lot for these charities.

  45. Mandy says:

    Rachel and Pluto–The Dan Savage involved with the It Gets Better project is a completely different person than the Dan Savage radio host. He’s married to a man. Not the same guy, I promise.

    It Gets Better is a great organization! Don’t knock it with misinformation, please!

    As to the rest of it, I’m with you, JoCo! This is a great comeback. This whole situation sucks, but good for you making the best of it. Hopefully this will get big enough to make Fox at least acknowledge what they’ve done.

  46. Jeremy says:

    why are you so damn classy?!

  47. Sara says:

    Another proof that you have more class in your little finger than the glitzy TV shows do in their whole damn lineup.

  48. Done and done. You stay classy, JoCo.

  49. KatieK says:

    Nicely done Coulton. Thank you.

    Rachel, Pluto – are you thinking of Michael Savage of The Savage Nation ( That’s a totally different guy that Dan Savage of Savage Love (